Thursday, September 30, 2021

John Thornton Kirkland

TL;DR -- So, research got us to looking at Transcendentalism with respect to a continuing topic of concern which led to people and their connections, per usual. Of course, Emerson goes without saying. However, the Head of Harvard was instrumental, to boot. And, turns out that he was there when the Count Rumford monies came to be. Ah, many tangled twists to look at. 


For some time, we have looked at various characters who were on this side of the waters during the last 400 years and who contributed to the great nation that we now see (U.S., if you must ask). Then, as we consider the characters, we look at their pedigree for various reasons that we will explain. For one thing, we look to see the New England connections, such as a relationship with the goings on in Massachusetts. 

For instance, after we got familiar with the early days where Essex County was the focus, we looked at how people and families ventured out of the area. Some of that was in the context of a church's mission efforts. This type of movement started early and accelerated after the split (the 250th of which is coming up in 1776). On a close look, we can find 'lost' generations. Along with that type of thrust, we had those who wandered by nature, such as the trapper/mountain men. Take Jedediah Strong Smith, as an example. Later, we had those involved with organizing the carving of the country

But, with the whole of the American experience at hand, we had to include academia in its various roles over the period. Say, even Harvard, from Eaton's time on. This will become the subject of this post as we leave in abeyance a lot of other material of interest. 

Last month, we ran across a later head of Harvard: James Bryant Conant (see Heads of Harvard and History of Harvard). Interesting guy and life, to say the least. Kin. Right now, we mention him due to his time and its importance. Hundred years ago we saw WWI and the Spanish Flu. Also, the start of massive testing of people. So many topics that just slid by without much consideration being given to the ins and outs. Oh yes, a while ago, in the context of 100 years ago, we ran across Count Rumford and his Harvard connections. A kin of his wrote of him in The Massachusetts Magazine which published early last century. But, on the note of heads of Harvard, the story of his money is interesting. BTW, Loyalists sensitivities, as well, are a topic that we touch upon now and then; tempering, somewhat, of the expected mania of the 250th. Who recalls much from 1976? 

Okay, technology is a focus. Both Conant and Rumford are known contributors there. But, we need to look at mathematics, too. Peirce, any one? Father and son, by the way. One thing that needs to be resurrected is some notion of how philosophy and mathematics might mix and do it well. Take transcendental numbers. Nice name. Basically, it is used to note that algebraic modes cannot apply. 

But, we know Transcendentalism was of New England. Without going into discussion as they can be tabled for now, we can drop names like Emerson (kin) and others. An unknown might be that the Unitarian effort of Harvard is associated with this thinking. And, of the time, the head of Harvard was John Thornton Kirkland. He married a Cabot but has his own New England pedigree. 

This is what is shown at WikiTree: John Thornton Kirkland (1770 - 1840). That would make him a son of the Fifth Generation which bore the brunt of the Revolution. His wife was the daughter of Hon. George Cabot. George is a descendant of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer, so we will be looking at Kirkland further. 

For one thing, he is kin of A. Lawrence Lowell through the family of Rev. Francis Higginson who arrived before Winthrop but after Endicott and who is from an old family of Cambridge University. 


As we have gone through our look at the Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia), we have put together the following list of pointers to foster discussion which we are adding to the early posts after our first which was on James Bryant Conant (dated - 26 Aug 2021).  

This has been a very useful series with tons of work now pending to bring the 'real' history of the U.S. to fore as an example of what future work and analysis will involve. 


One person of note to our research is Col. T. W. Higginson who was old family and a Harvard graduate. He wrote of his lineage which he self-published in 1910. In that work, we have some sixty references to Harvard graduates, including two references to Presidents (Kirkland and Lowell). So, that is of interest. Some of the graduates were related by marriage to the family. The early Higginsons had an association with Theophilus Eaton who was the brother of Nathaniel. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/23/2022

12/11/2021 -- Added links to Heads of Harvard and History of Harvard.

09/23/2022 -- Added list of links. Noted relationship with A. Lawrence Lowell. While researching how families interleave, Kirkland came up. The family relationship could be step or in-law. The former was normal as people died early and their spouses married. The children could then be from any of the pairing where four spouse was not uncommon. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Modern Genealogy Made Easy

TL;DR -- So, genealogy and its way? Always of concern, especially when you see these folks a mere decade ago suggest that the internet was bosh, essentially. And, the decade ended up with people being remote (disparate and not) and connected via distributed means (namely, the cloud whether explicitly seen there or not). That refers to the decision to not foster much web usage. On the other hand, people want access. Why is it not there? Well, there is a podcast covering the topic which is very good. On the other hand, the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. has worked to publish in that time frame and intends to keep on with the task. Can the next decade be better with improved choices made? 


We are not much for listening to podcasts. But, that follows from seeing that learning is better done by reading. Many times. On the other hand, want to explain some process, then demonstration is the key. Part of what is being addressed here relates to knowledge, its preservation and how to convey the needed core from generation to generation. 

Even in the old times, Socrates lectured to his students in a garden environment. Classrooms came about at some point. But, as we got better at printing, scholars had easy access to more information that could be studied privately. Then, we had major libraries available for students down to the present day (a few decades ago) of books available commonly in book stores. Dover publications come to mind as someone who covered lots of topics.  

Then, the computer happened? And, no one has shown the right approach. For one reason, there are just too many variables. We will need time to settle things. And, we will need to do this. Want to know a good genealogy example? WikiTree (WT). We'll be getting back to that, regularly.  

Another example is the blog. The title of this post is the name of one blog. The post got our attention after a link had been posted by Nutfield Genealogy to FB. FB and its ilk? Yes there are many other categories to consider. And, we are here, traversing through this immensity. 

Okay, the post: Why aren't more genealogy records online? Well, look at DAR/SAR. Both of them have databases that are of note. WT is developing nicely in this regard to. Outside of genealogy, there are lots and lots of examples. Want to see them? Go to any good Wikipedia topic and look at the sources that are referenced. Wikipedia is where we start our research nowadays on about any topic. Oh, Google? In our filter, Wikipedia comes in on the top, anyway. Why not start there?

So, back to the post. It goes through some of the issues related to costs, technical choices, maintenance and more. Given the computer age, problems abound all around. These can be categorized into those involved with technology itself versus those things related to the domain. In this case, genealogy would be one of the topics. Though, we could broaden it to more things that are important. 

At some point, we will address each of those points covered with respect to the work of the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. in particular, to things of interest in the larger picture of this domain and its associates, all the way to the big picture's scope. Nice to see the blog post (and its referenced pod cast). After all, computing is not going away. It'll be pushed to unknown limits. Things definitely will not be easier. Anyone who tells us that it will be is a charlatan. It is about time that we get that fact known. 

Now, going forward, we have another side of this issue to get addressed. The genealogical community decided that they didn't like the internet, essentially, Probably too wild west. So, they dissed the thing. And, threw the baby out with the bath water. Oh yes. That was 2010ish

What happened in 2020? And, is continuing now as we approach 2022? Oh yes, cyber modes as the vogue, somewhat imperatively determined. Or, by caveat. Whatever. Lots to discuss. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/29/2021

09/29/2021 -- 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Oregon or bust

TL:DR -- We looked at a wreck in Oregon in 1850 of a ship owned by a Mr. Gardiner and found material about the subject, including some family information. We summarized what we knew. Now, we can know more due to research about Oregon being on the web. This includes more material about the wrecks. But, we also see the other way to arrive being documented further. The land trek of several month's duration with a daily grind across the great western landscape. 


Earlier, we wrote about a Gardiner-owned ship that wrecked on the Oregon Coast in 1850. It had left Boston in 1849 with a load for San Francisco. A post titled "The Gardiner that was" summarized what we learned on researching the owner. Given what we found, we could only classify this as a Historical puzzles which needed more research. 

Not only is there the issue of commerce and transportation, we have family stories to consider. Too, this all fits within the context of our research the past two years related to the establishment of the U.S. In particular, we have several posts related to Oregon that can be organized. 

One resource will be material related to Southern Oregon History the attention to which we got via a researcher to found our posts. Turns out that there is a lot more about the parties involved. For instance, Gardiner had a second shipwreck in the same area. If one looks at the Oregon coast, it's like graveyard: List of shipwrecks of Oregon. The two boats of interest are the Bostonian (1850) and the Nassau (1852) which are in the section on the Central Coast. 

A place for us to start is this article: Drew's side. In this, we find G. L. Snelling giving us his take on the whole deal. We will (need to) find the Henry Gardiner side of things at some point. There is a character of note who was Gardiner Chism and a nephew of Gardiner. Born in Maine, he covered a lot of area, including being in the Nevada region for awhile, before ending up in Oregon. 

So, after that cursory look at this bit of history, let's switch over to land events. This page lists people who emigrated to Oregon by trail in 1846. That was the year of the Donner party. Putting that in perspective, it was over 21 years after Missouri was getting itself carved up after its 1821 start. Too, it was a decade before people were going southwest on the Santa Fe Trail. As we see, some parties went to OR. Others split out, like the Donners, to go to CA. 

Too, we are talking the time after the early mountain men and their yearly Rendezvous. By then, we had the Trapper, Trader, and Rancher. Of course, we need to mention our first research subject, Jedediah Strong Smith who died the prior decade. 

Look at the names in this list: Emigrants to Oregon in 1846. Some of these were new to the U.S. A lot of them are east coast families. Some of these even go back to Cape Ann. That is something to pursue. 

We also will keep the foreign incursions and border conflicts in mind.  

Remarks: Modified: 09/25/2021

09/25/2021 -- 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Patriot to Passenger

TL:DR -- We have always tried to keep the spectral moments in mind, such as 100, 250, 300 and 400. Of course, what was happening in any place at those times. The 250th is coming up soon which SAR/DAR as a reminder. There is a database being worked with ties Patriots (who have been proven or not) with Passengers on the Mayflower. We have identified some of these with regard to Cape Ann but are motivated to do more. 


We just took a look at the new website for the Mayflower Society which is oriented toward the mobile, and app, configuration. Nice. From a technology sense, we will keep choices related to these matters on the table for discussion. For many reasons that a few posts here looked at, such as the theme of intelligence and artificial approximation of such.  

We ventured down the 'Join us' line of menus and got to something of interest. Several of our posts discussion the 250th coming up (DAR/SAR) and the 400th. The Revolution was borne by the fifth generation with the fourth and sixth contributing their parts. We have been supporting the work of DAR/SAR and were happy to see the Patriot to Passenger database. 


We have been tracing both Patriots and Loyalists and will continue. Lots of work to be done.

Remarks: Modified: 11/01/2021

10/28/2021 -- The MF PDF was moved. Link's URL updated. 

11/01/2021 -- Turns out that NEHGS has a project, too. 

Saturday, September 18, 2021


TL:DR -- We have had an atypical year and one-half since the disease made its appearance. We were close to ground zero in the U.S. which brings up thoughts about 100 years ago and the Spanish Flu. Now, we have world-wide communication, at the blink of an eye. Yet, that power is not yet tamed. We don't know if it can be. Our work can contribute to stability, though. 


We just realized that we have not mentioned the plague that has been on everyone's mind for the past eighteen months. There were rumblings of a flu-like illness going around that started early in 2020. Later, we heard that the early warnings were in late 2019. In December of 2019, we were looking at our ten years of work and anticipating, as everyone else, the start of the Mayflower remembrances. The month before that, we had started a look at the children of Thomas and Margaret using some of the posts that we had done with them as the theme. Later, we did this again using a collection of descendants that had been first published on Wikipedia. There is a post per child with a list that can grow. Too, we were looking at the preparatory work being done by others (Salem's Start) and had figured out the issues related to Thomas' remains

We had looked further into Dr. Franks' books and into his and Lucie's (his sister's) relationship with Sidney Perley. We had gone through the eleven years of Dr. Frank's "The Massachusetts Magazine" and had published the Table of Contents for all of the issues. It had been in 2018 when we mused about the last issue of the TMM and mentioned the Spanish Flu's wide-spread influence on the U.S. We also were supporting research efforts at WikiTree. 

In short, we recognized all of the threads that were related to the necessary work and were doing an assessment of what had been done and to plan for future work. 

Then, there was the lockdown. COVID was here. Like with the Spanish Flu, Kansas had some of the early deaths from people in retirement communities being visited by some who had traveled with the few weeks before. Back in 1918, it had been in an Army post where troops were returning from overseas. This outbreak had been in the spring and long before the huge impact in Boston. So, thoughts of the prior century's ordeal was on everyone's mind. 

One problem was finding out good information. What was the reaction was that several news organizations allowed free access to their blogging about COVID. Also, in some venues, technical people were weighing in with facts and educated opinion. 

Tracking, Johns Hopkins

Too, a side-effect was that workers used internet access to work starting off a new paradigm that is still being managed for continuation. People could only go out for certain purposes, such as getting food. Food delivery became a norm. Lots of other patterns emerged. After that first lockdown, people were let out with restrictions. These were gradually relaxed but then tightened as new waves came about. We saw several of these. 

Finally, early this year, the vaccines became available. That release was done step-wise but was mostly available to all in the summer. We're only September. Most who wanted to be vaccinated in the U.S. have been. There were issues related to economic status and other factors that has delayed access to the vaccine in various parts of the world. 

Today, we were out in an open area. There were some masks which became the norm in the spring of 2020. And were dropped and picked back up. Right now, it's by choice of the person or the establishment where they might be. One sees large gatherings. Some are traveling. Some have traveled  due to necessity all of this time with some restrictions. That is, this is not normal travel. 

But, a corner seems to have been turned. Weymouth is up for its recognition in 2022. 2023 will see Gloucester doing its thing. Salem is not until 2026. But, there are many of these events that will take decades to go through. And, adding in New Hampshire will give us more to look at. 

Oh yes, the surrounding areas? Sure. That will be an update in the near future. Example: Two houses

In the last eighteen months, we followed up on the early western experience related to the trappers and mountain men (Jedediah Strong Smith). Also, we found out the significance of a recent movie (The Revenant) with respect to this theme, New England and family. Then, we broadened an earlier scope of migrating from the north by following southern routes through the Cumberland Gap. And, then, there was the attempts at settling at various sites (States) along the way to the west coast. 

For instance, Missouri became a State in 1821, two hundred years ago. St. Louis was a prime factor in the western expansion. The government's effort at surveying is an important topic as we watch the land being carved up. Even the area east of the Mississippi was not settled until after Louis and Clark's venture. As we look at the history, we will deal with families from New France and New Spain. Of that latter, the whole of the southwest from Texas to California will be on the scope. 

Technology? It played then as it does now. We looked at the various modes of travel. Before the railroad got its act together which involve lots of hard work as well as the maneuverings of people like Stanford (yes, of the University). But, people went west and back by various means. Samuel Clemens, himself before Mark Twain came aboard, went to California by stage across the northern route. Didn't like it. But, people made the trip on a regular basis, such as those who led folks to Santa Fe or Oregon through Gardner Junction, we might add. 

In our studies, we see that the Revolution (SAR/DAR) was the onus of the fifth generation. The fourth provided guidance through their experiences in the French and Indian conflicts. These, btw, had corresponding events back across the waters. So, we need to consider that whole area. It was the seventh and eighth generations who started to harvest the fruit of the U.S. Lots to discuss there. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/25/2021

09/25/2021 -- Added the TL;DR. Also, we can, and need to, research more on Oregon

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Two houses

TL:DR -- A tale of two houses within one family and common timeframe. Too, we get to consider New Hampshire in a way that will be persistently fair and equitable with regard to its larger sibling to the south. One house is maintained by the Society of Cincinnati but built by a ggp of Ann and her kin. 


We mentioned doing research with a New Hampshire focus. It is about time, as we started to run into families who went up to NH very early when we first began to research New England. Rev. Bachiler is one example of someone with lots of families associated with him. He appears in this work but is not the focus, yet.  In a few lines from now back to the beginning, we have a collection of twelve generations and are taking a good look at generations eight and nine. The other ones are well covered. 

It is typical in this type of work to run into problem areas. For about a year, we were looking at the frontier issues related to people following the expansion west after the Revolution. In that case, the interior was carved over a century's time, with St. Louis as a focal point. There are issues that could be better handled by the experts (we'll get there - modernize the thinking, a little). With tongue in cheek, we could say that the practice for the real west was done in that pseudo-northwest that is on the wrong side of the Mississippi. 

Also, we have pointed out that the Revolution's brunt had been borne by the fifth generation with the fourth providing some guidance and the sixth hanging on for their dear lives. With the seventh, we started to see the enjoyment of the fruits of the labor of the earlier generations, in part. 

Okay, we are now putting our attention back into New England's milieu. Having mentioned the 400th parties for Massachusetts several times, we will now correct that by bringing in New Hampshire. What about ME and CT and the rest? We'll get there. Right now, we can say that lots of these families were in the Kittery, ME area prior to wandering west. 

There are many ways to go about looking at this topic. For this post, we will consider two houses. Same family. We'll list the one of glory, first; then we can balance with a look at other views. BTW, that latter? Well, with Harry being over here, we can really start to look at the commonality of ourselves and that Mother country. 

Both houses are in Exeter, NH and were built in the early 1700s.  

  • Ladd-Gilman house -- We knew of this house years ago. What got our attention recently was the association with the Society of Cincinnati. The owner of the house at the time of the Revolution was a founding member of this organization. So, we will get back to that theme, too. Right now, let's look at the families. Nathaniel Ladd, Jr. (who is the builder) is in Ann's lineage. Nathaniel had married a Gilman who was a daughter of the Hon. John of note. They, Nathaniel and Catherine, sold the house to the grandfather of the signer in the family (Nicholas Gilman, Jr). The grandfather was the 1st cousin of Catherine. The house is now used as a private museum and for meetings by the Society of Cincinnati which is one of the members of the Hereditary Society Community which is oriented toward preserving history and our knowledge about it. 
  • Gilman Garrison house - This is our balance for several reasons. It is contemporary, somewhat, as the Ladd-Gilman (1721) was built about a decade after this one (1709). However, one can see that the times and styles were somewhat different. Now, the people. Hon John Gilman was the first tenant of this house built by the family for security. A couple of generations later, Brigadier General Peter Gilman was the occupant. He was well-known for his service in the French and Indian Wars. However, come the Revolution, and he was a Loyalist. That subject needs further attention. For now we have this overview: The American Loyalists (1847). If one scrolls up a little in the file (to page 315), there is a list of the Gardner Loyalists, such as Henry and Dr. Sylvester

Remarks: Modified: 10/09/2021

10/09/2021 -- Form with details for National Register of Historical Places. The house is 300 this year; somehow did not see that earlier. Great work, Nathaniel Ladd. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Dudley family

TL;DR -- Lots and lots of families in New England have published a book starting about 150 years ago and continuing to now. Many times, areas will include family genealogy of their citizens. Part of our work has been identifying this type of work which has a Gardner theme. Turns out that the Dudley families also can be used in this regard. 


We were doing research about families in New Hampshire and noticed that Dudley kept coming up as families in the areas intermarried. Before the 300th of New England (Great Migration) came around, families were doing research and writing books. This has continued over the past century. 

Somewhat, all of this activity has resulted in material that is mostly conversational. Some say, well, quote sources. But, that is not enough for several reasons. We need more than books. Fortunately, the web will help as we go forward. 

One of our tasks early was trying to collect all that had been written about Thomas and Margaret (Fryer) Gardner, in particular, and about Gardner in general. Some of those early sites seem to have disappeared where we might use the 'wayback' facility for access. Then, for those still around, who do you believe? We made a choice to support the WikiTree effort due to their principles. 

One might think that Gardner represented a mess given all of the families with the names, some of which may very well be related. In any case, we want to address collateral families. So, we would find 1000s of names anyway given the time frame of 400 years and more. Dr. Frank's book is small in comparison to some of the things that we see. 

History of the
Dudley Family

So, back to New Hampshire. It turned out that using three family books, things were consistent. That is, each had their own thread and views. But, converging to some point in time and family was there, albeit the information differed slightly due to viewpoint. But, one of those three books was related to Dudley. And, turns out that it covers more than the family of Thomas. However, he was the one of interest given our focus on Massachusetts and its surroundings. 

So, the thought arises that the Dudleys started researching early. Or, they had better family records. But, not. Too, they do have the public interest and so can be a focus for discussion. As in, compare things back to what the Dudleys did or wrote. Too, their effort can be motivation to keep us working toward a better framework for presentation of Gardner information. 

Here are a few thoughts on the matter. 

  • Joseph Gardner and Ann Downing are mentioned. Why? Gov. Simon Bradstreet married Ann after Joseph was killed and Simon's wife, Ann the poet, had died. Okay, that's a connection that is early. However, on browsing around, there are other references to families that are only a degree or two (the Kevin Bacon deal) away. 
  • WikiTree. 
    • Of course, there is a profile for Thomas Dudley. Too, notice that there are the G2G discussions
    • History of the Dudley Family. This was published in series. WikiTree provides them all. That is, those before a certain date. A Google search on these of a later vintage comes up with books, most of which support neither preview'ing nor snippet'ing. 
  • Thomas in particular. The Royal Families book gives his descendants including those of other families. A few years ago, there was a file that listed the names (part of the index) so that one could check without seeing the text. Doesn't seem to be there (let us know if it is). 
  • Example of a town book, Canterbury NH
  • Wait, a book with little Dudley mention: Connecticut River ... 
  • Dudley DNA. This is good to see. 
  • ...
Early on, we noticed that the 'rich and famous' had more genealogical/historical stuff published about them, albeit how did one know how good the stuff was? Serious question. Too, if one looked at the general stuff, one could get some hints about others who might have been in some area at some point in time, even if they were not mentioned. Hints, folks, are what good problem solving needs and develops as part of any effective process. 

So, Dudley? Probably about the best example though we have seen many others. We will bet that the Dudleys have a motive to make it right. So, they will be part of the action. Lots to talk about with regard to filtering and such. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/05/2021

09/15/2021 -- We need to look at New Hampshire on a regular basis.  

10/05/2021 -- Added image for our Portal to Truth. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Joseph and Seeth

TL;DR -- As we fill in descendant trees for all of the families that interlocked in the early times via marriage, we want to remember those who had no progeny. Joseph and Ann (Downing) Gardner are an example. He was killed in the early troubles with the American Indians. She married an old governor after that while getting Bradstreet to sign a pre-nup. Joseph's sister, Seeth, had children and grandchildren. One Conant line ended early. There are many more to add to the list as we find them and remember to do the recording.  


Of late, we have been looking at the wide expanse of people related to Thomas and Margaret. For a time, we were looking at the interior which was carved up under the guise of Manifest Destiny. Before that, and now in a more balanced mode, we had the nautical focus. After all, Salem was a port. 

Many heritage society communities focus on descendants. How else can they keep their membership? But, we have kept an interest in those who had no progeny. While reviewing the portal today which pops up some random text, we got this page. The text showed two of the children: Joseph and Seeth. 

Joseph Gardner and Ann Downing did not have children. Seeth? She did with her later husband. Her son, Joshua Conant, who married a daughter of Richard More, did not have grandchildren. That got us to a recent post of someone with no progeny: JB Conant

We get sensitive to this while looking at pedigrees related to application to heritage societies. Of the children in a family, many times only a few are in the database due to no application being submitted for the others. To us, that would be something that the heritage society ought to look at. Why? Many claim biblical leanings. If so, transitive 'honoring of the parents' might suggest that. In any case, we intend to keep with the focus on those who are lost in history. 

BTW, in our look at the frontier, we see many who are lost just due to genealogists being obtuse in so many ways. We are ready to discuss those issues, as required.  

Remarks: Modified: 09/03/2021

09/03/2021 --